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The Cay by Theodore Taylor

The Cay (1969)

by Theodore Taylor

Series: The Cay (1)

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2,366582,656 (3.88)36
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Read in childhood (after seeing the good movie) and again a few years ago. It held up well. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
Summary: This story is set in the Caribbean during World War II. When a family tries to return home from the Caribbean, their ship gets torpedoed by German submarines. The boy, Phillip, is left stranded on a raft in the Caribbean Sea with an old black man named Timothy. Phillip is unsure of Timothy because he has always been told that black people are "strange". After a few days on the raft, Phillip goes blind and now must rely on Timothy to survive. Phillip has to learn to accept Timothy if he wants to survive. Eventually, they washed up on an island, and learned to survive there. They faced many challenges together like the weather and learning to accept and trust one another. Unfortunately, Timothy dies in the end, but Phillip is rescued off of the island by a helicopter.

Reflection: I really like this book because it has such a good message. It really shows that you should judge someone based on how they look, which I think is a very important lesson for kids. It is a very suspenseful book, but it is also very sad.

Extension: For an extension, you could blindfold kids and have them reenact Phillip losing his sight. This would be a fun exercise that would help the students gain a better understanding of the challenges Phillip faced.
  mikefletch | Mar 26, 2015 |
  mrsforrest | Nov 1, 2014 |
Good children story! ( )
  lepensuer | Jun 14, 2014 |
The Cay begins with an eleven year old boy Named Phillip who lives during the time of World War two. Phillip's family then believes that it is not safe to live there anymore because of German submarines near the island of Curacao. Phillip leaves the island with his mom on the S.S Hato, destination Virginia. The ship is then shot by a torpedo and goes down. Phillip is hit in the head by debris. Phillip then meets Timothy and Stew Cat (a black cat). They build a raft but with Phillip a racist it makes it hard for them to work together. Later Phillip is blinded from the torpedo incident a while back. The three then get stuck on THE CAY.

The cay is a one mile by half a mile in width. Phillip and Timothy then do lots of teamwork. Phillip later memorizes the whole island even if he can't see. As things do good a massive storms comes. After the storm rescuers arrive just after Timothy just died from the storm (didn't like that part).

Overall I really enjoyed this book hope others do too.
  JaredT.B1 | May 28, 2014 |
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Mary Purucker (KLIATT Review, July 2005 (Vol. 39, No. 4))
Twelve-year-old Philip's ordeal as a castaway after the ship he was on was torpedoed in 1942 has never lost its appeal as a strong survival tale with two strong characters. When German submarines increase their activity off the coast of Venezuela, Philip's mother insists that the two of them leave the island of Curacao where his father works for an oil refinery, but she refuses to fly and they take passage on a ship. Not many days go by before they are blown out of the water and Philip finds himself on a raft with a gigantic elderly black man and the ship's cat. His mother's prejudices at first make him uncomfortable with Timothy, but he learns to love and respect him. Suffering from a severe blow to his head, in a few days Philip becomes totally blind and totally dependent on Timothy. When they finally land on a small island, a cay, Timothy teaches him the skills to survive even if he is left alone. Michael Boatman narrates in a straightforward way, easily giving Phillip a slight Southern accent and Timothy's voice a West Indian flavor. The pacing and timing are perfect as the pair battle the elements, get to know each other, and prepare for potential rescue. Category: Fiction Audiobooks. KLIATT Codes: J*--Exceptional book, recommended for junior high school students. 2005 (orig. 1969), Listening Library, 3 cds. 3 hrs.; Vinyl; plot, author, reader notes., $30.00. Ages 12 to 15.

added by kthomp25 | editKLIATT Review, Mary Purucker
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To Dr. King's dream, which can only come true if the very young know and understand it.
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Like silent, hungry sharks that swim in the darkness of the sea, the German submarines arrived in the middle of the night.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
When the freighter on which they are traveling is torpedoed by a German submarine during World War II, an adolescent white boy, blinded by a blow on the head, and an old black man are stranded on a tiny Caribbean island where the boy acquires a new kind of vision, courage, and love from his old companion.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 044022912X, Mass Market Paperback)

This award-winning novel remains a powerful classic of prejudice, love, and survival. In 1942, 11-year-old Phillip Enright lives with his parents on the Dutch island of Curaçao, but when the war moves too close for comfort, his mother decides to travel with him back to the safety of Virginia. When their boat is torpedoed, however, Phillip is blinded and finds himself adrift on a life raft with an old black man and a cat. They eventually land on a deserted island. Phillip is suspicious of "the large Negro," but soon grows to trust--and ultimately love--the patient and generous Timothy. Dedicated to "Dr. King's Dream," The Cay has a clear message that friendship is colorblind; it is also a terrific adventure story of a young, newly blinded man learning to survive on an uninhabited island. (Ages 12 and older) --Richard Farr

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:57 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

When the freighter on which they are traveling is torpedoed by a German submarine during World War II, an adolescent white boy, blinded by a blow on the head, and an old black man are stranded on a tiny Caribbean island where the boy acquires a new kind of vision, courage, and love from his old companion.… (more)

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